Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/75

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

and bread and butter. Sometimes, however, he partook of a little fish, only at rare intervals ate meat, and he never drank above two glasses of wine. He was indifferent to places of honor."

He always lived modestly. For his lodgings in London he paid only at the rate of £14 a year. He kept no servant. When over eighty years of age he was asked if he did not need one. "No," he replied, "an angel is always by my side." It was his habit, after his "illumination," to retire to bed at seven o'clock in the evening, and rise at eight in the morning. One of the simple-minded burgher shopkeepers, with whom he resided in London, was asked if the old gentleman did not require a great deal of attention. "He scarcely requires any," she replied. "The servant has nothing to do for him, except in the morning to lay the fire for him. We trouble ourselves no farther about him. During the day he keeps up the fire himself, and on going to bed takes great care lest the fire should do any damage. He dresses and undresses himself alone, and waits upon himself in everything, so that we scarcely know whether there is anyone in the house or not. I should like him to be with us during the rest of his life. My children will miss him most, for he never goes out without bringing them home some sweets; the little rogues dote upon the old gentleman so much that they prefer him to their own parents."

In the street, Swedenborg usually wore a suit of black velvet, a pair of long ruffles, a curious hilted sword, after the fashion of the times, and a gold-headed cane. He usually spoke very deliberately and distinctly, but stammered a little if he spoke fast. He had no books during the latter period of his life except Bibles, four of different editions in Hebrew and four Latin Bibles. One of his Hebrew Bibles he gave to the pastor of the Swedish church in London as his burial fee. Like Humboldt, he paid little regard to times or seasons, taking his food and repose when nature asked for them.

"Till very lately," says the Rev. Dr. Thomas Hartley, "he (Swedenborg) has not set his name to any of his theological works. He has nothing of the precisian in his manner, nothing of melancholy in his temper, and